Weekend Box Office Wrap-Up

Magical Marketing Catapults Wild Things and Box Office

By John Hamann

October 18, 2009

And I'm gonna keep on loving you, 'cause it's the only thing I wanna do.

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Fourth goes to Couples Retreat, which stumbles badly after a $34 million start last weekend. This weekend, the critically reviled comedy earned $17.9 million, and drops a wicked for comedy 49%. The Vince Vaughan-led Universal flick has a running gross now of $63.3 million against a production budget of $60 million.

New release The Stepfather finishes fifth, but still does okay considering the success of fellow horror flick, Paranormal Activity. The Stepfather earned $12.3 million, which can't be considered bad for what should have been a dead on arrival remake. Released to 2,734 venues, The Stepfather had a venue average of $4,499. Curently this one is 7% fresh at RottenTomatoes, and is not recommended.

Dropping from third last weekend to sixth this weekend is Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, Sony's other strong performer through October. Now in its fifth weekend, Meatballs finally broke through the $100 million mark with a weekend gross of $8.1 million, which was down 30% from the previous frame. Considering that Meatballs had to deal with the Toy Story Double Feature, and now Wild Things, I think Sony has to very pleased with its performance, as it has a running total now of $108.3 million.


Zombieland drops to seventh this weekend, as the three-weekend old horror comedy runs into some unexpectedly large competition. Zombieland earned another $7.8 million, giving it a drop from last weekend of 47%. Sony should be pleased that this one has managed to drop less than 50% each weekend, as this type of film could have seen bigger drops. The total now for the $23.6 million feature has reached $60.8 million.

The Toy Story 3-D Double Feature moves down to eighth this weekend, and despite being marketed as a two-week limited engagement, here it is enjoying a third weekend (you gotta love Disney). Toy Story earned another $3 million (in what is basically all revenue for the studio), and was off 61%. This experiment has now earned $29 million..

Touchstone's Surrogates is ninth. The four-weekend old Bruce Willis feature earned $1.9 million this weekend, and was off 55%. It has now earned $36.3 million, or about half of its $80 million budget.

The Invention of Lying rounds out the top ten this weekend. The Ricky Gervais flick that didn't click earned $1.9 million and was off 43%. It has a total of $15.5 million.

Overall this weekend, the box office is way, way, up over last year. A year ago four new films opened, with Mark Wahlberg's Max Payne reaching the top, but with only $17.6 million. Last year, the top 12 films could only gross $84.8 million. This year, with Wild Things more than doubling the Max Payne gross, the box office top 12 earned a fantastic $129.8 million, a record for a top 12 in October. Next weekend could be interesting as well. Summit Entertainment releases Astroboy to over 3,000 venues, and Cirque du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant also debuts, on top of the second weekend of Where The Wild Things Are.

Top Weekend Box Office for 10/16/09-10/18/09 (Actuals)
Rank Film Distributor Estimated Gross Actual Gross Weekly Change Running Total
1 Where the Wild Things Are Warner Bros. $32,470,000 $32,695,407 New $32,695,407
2 Law Abiding Citizen Overture Films $21,250,000 $21,039,510 New $21,039,510
3 Paranormal Activity Paramount Pictures $20,163,000 $19,617,650 New $33,171,743
4 Couples Retreat Universal $17,948,685 $17,227,390 - 49.8% $62,617,735
5 The Stepfather Screen Gems $12,300,000 $11,581,586 New $11,581,586
6 Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs Sony/Columbia $8,100,000 $8,017,871 - 30.4% $108,201,645
7 Zombieland Sony (Columbia) $7,800,000 $7,616,939 - 48.5% $60,640,317
8 Toy Story/Toy Story 2 3d WALT DISNEY N/A $3,016,580 New $28,554,678
9 Surrogates Touchstone Pictures $1,922,000 $1,917,315 - 55.1% $36,327,650
10 The Invention of Lying Warner Bros. Pictures $1,905,000 $1,907,398 - 42.9% $15,497,164
11 Whip It Fox Searchlight Pictures $1,525,000 $1,507,379 - 46.7% $11,360,796
12 Capitalism: A Love Story Overture Films $1,433,000 $1,455,510 - 44.7% $11,622,433
  Also Opening/Notables
  New York, I Love You $372,107 $380,776 New $380,776
  Black Dynamite $140,986 $131,862 New $131,862
  Main Aurr Mrs. Khanna Utv N/A $121,134 New $121,134
  The Maid Elephant Eye N/A $17,056 New $17,056
  Visual Acoustics Arthouse $14,077 $11,915 New $17,252
  A Serious Man Focus Features $860,257 $842,511 + 83.4% $1,843,307
  Fame MGM $880,000 $903,890 - 64.5% $21,795,849
  The Informant! Warner Bros. Pictures $1,005,000 $955,456 - 56.7% $31,766,896
Click here for all weekend data
Box office data supplied by Exhibitor Relations
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